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Resin Transfer Molding (RTM)

In the 1990s, Reuther Mold saw a need and began providing Resin Transfer Molding tooling. Our capabilities made us a perfect fit for manufacturing RTM and the associated tooling. It was especially fortuitous that Reuther Mold branched into RTM tooling, because our new abilities allowed us to continue to serve an industry we were already well acquainted with – the aerospace industry. Our crush core molds have been used in beautifully designed Boeing aircraft interiors, and now our RTM tooling services carry on Reuther Mold’s legacy in partnering with elite aircraft and aerospace technology.

What Is RTM Tooling?

RTM tooling is a closed mold system for manufacturing high performance and high precision composite components, producing volumes ranging from around a thousand parts to tens of thousands of parts per mold.

Reuther Mold’s RTM Tooling Experience

Reuther Mold’s RTM tooling specifically uses aluminum, mild steel, P20, and Invar materials to construct these closed molds. Additionally, our resin transfer molds generally involve pre-form inserts which are then covered by a secondary layer when the resin transfer molds are filled with our high grade resin.

However, the RTM tooling process is not over once the mold is filled. Before your part can be removed from the mold, the resin must first be heat cured. The key during this step of the RTM tooling process is to uniformly heat all of the resin at the same temperature. Once the heat curing process is finally finished, your part can be removed from the mold and is ready for the next processing step.

While the process of heat curing resin may sound relatively simple, it is important to note that this is a vital manufacturing step that could potentially ruin the final resin product if done incorrectly. This is why it is so crucial to choose an RTM tooling company that excels at what it does. Reuther Mold fits this description, being a globally recognized mold manufacturer that meets and exceeds international standards. For this reason, we can confidently say that our company is best suited to meet your RTM tooling needs.

With Reuther Mold’s vast array of molding capabilities there is no limit to the type of tooling our customers can choose. So why might one of our customers specifically choose to use Reuther Mold RTM tooling for their products?

Perhaps most notably, RTM tooling provides unmatched dimension control for composite structures. This high level precision capability ensures that your resin product will be able to seamlessly integrate into any process you require of it. RTM tooling also provides the ability to co-cure foam, metallic inserts, or other pre-cured details into your final resin molded product.

We have provided RTM tooling for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, F-22 and F-35 fighter planes and the Comanche helicopter. Our capabilities continue to expand in this area as Reuther Mold now designs and manufactures tooling strings to support our customer’s full production cycle.

What Is a Tooling String & How Might it Benefit You?

We understand that molding your part is only one step in a long and precise process.  Reuther Mold can provide tooling for every step. 

Pre-form and Debulk tooling.

Our typical tool string starts with the pre-form and debulk tooling. While using the same CAD-based part design we can design and manufacture tooling to pre-form your fabric and compact it. These pre-form and debulk tools can be made from lightweight aluminum or we can design them to use one of the Resin Transfer Molding mandrels.

Extraction Fixtures

After the molding process, the next step is to de-mold your part. Due to the complexity of most RTM parts it is sometimes necessary to use an Extraction Fixture to aid in opening the RTM and removing mandrels with undercuts or minimum draft.

Transport and disassembly carts

During the de-mold process the technician needs a place to secure the RTM mandrels, bolts, injection ports, and vent ports. Working with your processing team, Reuther Mold can design a Transport and Disassemble cart that will make mold cycling quicker and easier. With a “place for every part”, your tooling will be secure and easily transferred to the cleaning station and then on to your Clean Room for preparation for the next molding cycle.

Machining Fixtures

Most Resin Transfer Molding parts will require secondary machining operations. With Reuther Mold’s 70 plus years of machining experience, Machine Fixture design is second nature for us. We will work with your manufacturing engineers to design and build Machine Fixtures to support your machine routing. In some cases these may be as simple as a handheld Drill Jig or as intricate as a Vacuum Asset Holding Fixture mounted onto your 5+ axis machine.

Inspection Fixtures

Working with your Inspection Team, we can design and build CMM holding fixtures to help your part inspection flow accurately and smoothly. By using your Part CAD Model throughout the entire tool string design from pre-form tooling through Inspection Fixtures, Reuther Mold can maintain the product’s Datum System and ensure traceability to the customer’s product.

We have provided tooling for Aircraft Structural Support Members:

  • Boeing 787 Main body supports
  • F-22 Wing Struts
  • F-35 Inlet Vanes
  • Engine Fan Cases
  • GE Engine Support Platforms
  • GE Flow Path Spacers
  • CH 52 and S92 Rotor Support Structure
  • TOW Missile Case

Pursuing Quality In Resin Transfer Molding

Reuther Mold maintains quality systems that ensure that the resin transfer molding services we offer are the best in the industry. Achieving the latest ISO 9001:2015 accreditation with Design certification, Reuther Mold is thorough in the steps we take to pursue this degree of quality. Our company uses state-of-the-art technology and equipment to guarantee that our products are up to standard.

Reuther Mold is committed to meeting any additional customer-specific certifications and standards that you may require, including up-to-date Non-Disclosure Agreements(NDAs) per our customers’ request. For resin transfer molding options that lead the industry in quality and customized service, look no further.

At Reuther Mold We Provide Full Resin Transfer Molding Services. Contact Us Today For A Quote!

manufacturing excellence for over 70 years